Thursday, July 31, 2008

Do-it-yourself: Print your own T-Shirts

If you have a printer at home you can easily use it to print your T-shirts. To create your own artwork on T-shirts, you will require:

  • A white T-shirt
  • The artwork you want to print
  • An inkjet or laser printer
  • Transfer paper (these are available for as cheap as $1 per paper or less, but often sold in packs)
  • An iron
  • A flat hard surface to iron

Now follow these steps:

  1. Select the image you wish to transfer to your T-shirt and adjust the size of the image. Print a test copy on paper to make sure that the size fits on the T-shirt
  2. Flip the image horizontally, that is, from left to right. This is important.
  3. Set the printer settings to the best quality and paper type to Transfer paper and print it on a transfer paper.
  4. Take the T-shirt and lay it evenly on a flat hard surface. Make sure there are no folds underneath. Place the transfer paper on top of it with the printed side down.

  5. Heat the iron to the maximum heating possible and move it over the transfer paper. It takes a lot of heat to transfer the image evenly and completely to the fabric. Continue ironing until the paper turns slightly dark in color.

  6. Carefully peel the paper while it is still hot
  7. Wear it and show off to your friends


[Image courtesy: Digit magazine]

Google + Linux + MySpace = gOS Space

A few months ago I posted about a Linux distro called gOS, the Google-Linux distro. To refresh things, gOS is based on the most widely acclaimed Ubuntu Linux and integrates all Google services like GMail, Google News, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Maps, YouTube and Blogger into the distro for one-click access. Back then, gOS was based on the Enlightenment E17 window manager, with no support for KDE or Gnome. Now gOS is available in three different versions - gOS Rocket E, which is the Enlightenment based version, gOS Rocket G which is based on Gnome and another fresh one called gOS Space which includes MySpace applications for photos, music, movies, TV etc.

Jack Wallen on TechRepublic writes:

gOS Space uses a combination of GNOME, Compiz Fusion, the Avant Window Navigator, and a bit of Enlightenment E17 code. This combination makes for a very interesting user experience that, as far as I know, is unique only to Space. Unfortunately this combination causes the minimum requirements to mimic that of the latest Ubuntu.


[Image courtesy: Flickr]

The most exiting feature in Space is the Stack, which is something like a collapsible folder that sits on the Dock. When you click on the folder in the dock, the Stack extends vertically. Everything except the expanded folders is transparent so you do not see the expandable menu popping up.

A more detailed review can be read at TechRepublic

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cucku - Backup your data onto your friend's PC

A new backup software called Cucku has a weird backup solution which they call social backup. This so called "social backup" technique allows you to backup your data not only to your own PC but to your friend's PC as well, provided you have a friend who will allow you to do that.

To get started you download their free software and also arrange a friend who is kind enough to lend his hard disk space for your files. Now every time a file on your PC is changed, Cucku will make a local backup of the file and then automatically upload an encrypted copy of the backup to your friend's PC over the Skype network. Because the backup is encrypted your friend is unable to view the contents of the backup. Restoration of data works the same as with any other backup solution.


Cucku is designed to provide an easy solution for friends and family members to help each other with offsite backups. But it isn't limited to families and friends. Cucku can turn out to be very useful for small business owners for backing up a network of computers. Also laptop users can use Cucku to backup every files on their laptop to their home PC automatically.

Another useful feature of Cucku is that it keeps all versions of the files it has backed up. This means that you can restore a specific version of an individual file or all versions of files prior to a particular date and time. So if you accidentally change a file and then back it up, you can still recover the previous version from the back up. This also works with accidentally deleted files.

[via Tech Crunch}

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Launchy, the open source program launcher now available for Linux

Lifehacker reported today that Launchy, the sleek little application launcher for Windows has just released a version for Linux. This is indeed a very good move, because as far as I can tell, Launchy is the best program launcher I have ever used. If you haven't heard of Launchy yet, then well .. Launchy is a tool that allows you to launch applications by just typing a few keys instead of having to navigate through your start menu with the mouse looking for the application. You can customize which files and application you want Launchy to index - the start menu, the program files, your documents or the whole hard disk. Launching Launchy itself is quite simple. Just press the ALT key and tab the spacebar. It's fast and simple.


Launchy also has a number of tricks up it's sleeve, like:

  • To search Google type in google, then tab, then your search query and press Enter. Other sites you can search include wikipedia, msn, yahoo, amazon, netflix, imdb, and more
  • To browse your computer type in c:, then tab, then a folder or file, hit tab, and continue.
  • Type in Weather, then tab, then your zip code or city,state and press Enter to get weather updates
  • Launchy also has a built in calculator

Also see:
Toolbox - The cutest application launcher
Free Launch Bar - The Quick Launch replacement

Read popular magazines on Firefox for free

Zinio is a company that is providing popular magazines like Reader's Digest, ,CosmoGirl, Elle, Macworld, Men's Health, National Geographic, Playboy, Penthouse and books in a digital format for free. These magazines are served as high resolution images and are the exact replica of the real magazines.

To read these magazines inside Firefox, first download User Agent switcher addon for Firefox. Go to Tools>User Agent Switcher>Options >Options. Click on User Agents and then click on Add. Now fill in the fields as follows:

Description: iPhone
User Agent: Mobile Safari 1.1.3 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en)
App Name: AppleWebKit/420+ (KHTML, like Gecko)
App Version: Version/3.0
Platform: Mobile/1A542a Safari/419.3

So we have added iPhone as a user agent. Then click on Tools>User Agent Switcher and click iPhone to set the user agent to iPhone. We are now ready to begin.

Proceed to and read all your favorite magazines for free!

[via Digital Inspiration]

Monday, July 28, 2008

11 cool examples of creative programming

While surfing the Internet I have come across all sorts of websites. Some are pretty, some are plain while some others are downright repulsive. And some show incredible creativity. Whenever I find such a site, I always bookmark it. Here is a collection of some of the coolest sites I have found.

1. DEFENDER of the favicon makes use of some amazing JavaScript skills to pack an arcade shooter game called Defender right inside the favicon. That's right. A game inside the 16×16 pixel favicon of the website! Instructions on how to play are on the site. Supported browsers are Opera 9.5, Opera 9.2 and Firefox 2.

2. Stripes is actually an optical illusion. Grab the stripes image on the right and slowly drag it over the other stripes layer on the left and see what happens.

3. HEMA - online winkelen is a flash animation of a product shopping page going nuts.

4. Creepy Girl - Another flash website. Watch the girl's eyes follow the mouse pointer.

5. This is sand - Create pictures using sand. A slightly different and better version of it is the Powder Game. Add wind to it and watch the sand fly.

6. Planet simulation - A JavaScript simulation game of universal gravitation. Create planets and send them into orbit around the sun or star. Often planets would go crashing into the star after a couple of revolutions. The challenge is to create stable orbits. It's really hard to do it. You can add more stars in the neighborhood and watch how it distorts the orbit of the planets. Make planets crash into each other to create debris. It's as much fun as educational.

7. Earth Editor - Another gravitational simulator from the same website. The center of the screen is the center of gravitational attraction. Release sand and water to make a globe. Then send in some asteroids to crash into them!

8. Blobular - A blob of viscous fluid. Done in JavaScript.

9. Bomomo - An odd sketch pad.

10. Unscrew America is a campaign intended to educate people about energy-efficient CFL and LED light bulbs and encourage them to switch to these. A beautiful flash site with floating menus and cartoons. Worth a watch.

11. ColorFlip - Flip the pages to reveal different colors. Requires flash.

Private browsing in Firefox

Apple's browser Safari has a very unique feature called private browsing. In the private browsing mode the browser does not record any of the sites visited in the history or in the cache, and any information you enter like username and password aren't remembered. In Firefox, the private browsing feature is brought by two extensions - Distrust and Stealther.

distrust Distrust creates a silent browsing session during which it monitors all activities in Firefox, picks up all surfing trail that you leave behind, and then flushes them out when the Distrust session is turned off. All history items and cached pages during this session is removed from the browser and leave the computer as it was before the browsing session began.

Firefox 3 users, download version 0.8.1 from the developer's website: download the latest version from here

stealther Another extension that does pretty much the same thing is Stealther. Stealther will temporarily disable the following:
- Browsing History (also in Address bar)
- Cookies
- Downloaded Files History
- Disk Cache
- Saved Form Information
- Sending of ReferrerHeader
- Recently Closed Tabs list


If you are an Internet Explorer user, then you can look at Browzar. Browzar is an extremely small browser (only 220KB) that runs on top of the IE engine and does not record any information - history, disk cache, auto complete etc when you use it. No installation is required and is in fact so small that the developers say that it's actually disposable. You don't even need to keep it in your PC or carry it with you. Just download it whenever you want, use it and delete it.


Image courtesy: Softonic

Friday, July 25, 2008

Avanquest Connection Manager - Quickly switch between different Net connections

Avanquest Connection Manager was previously a $30 worth application that recently went free. This piece of software is great, specially for laptop users who often have to move between home and office and use different net connections at different places. Avanquest Connection Manager lets you create different profiles on your PC or laptop for different connections that you might have - LAN at home and at office, Wifi etc. When you select a profile and apply it, it automatically re-configures all your network settings and applications like network printers so that you don't have to do it manually each time you switch networks.


Avanquest Connection Manager even lets you re-configure your installed applications based on the network you select. For example, you can configure your email client to retrieve mails only when you are using your ADSL connection and disable it when you are connected via your 3G network. Or you can configure your browser to use a different homepage depending upon the connection you are connected to. If you have more than one net connection on your computer, you will love this tool.

Make international calls for free using Talkster

Launched on October last year, Talkster's Free World Dialing gives users the ability to make free international and long distance calls from their cell phones, landlines, computers or VoIP phones. No registration or credit card is ever required and callers won’t need any new software or downloads to use the new Talkster service, just their existing phone.

Print To use Talkster’s Free World Dialing service visit from your computer or from your mobile phone browser or send an SMS to +447624802492. On the form provided, enter your name and the phone number from which you will place the call, along with the name and phone number of the person you want to call. Talkster will assign you and your friend a free local Talkster number that you can use whenever you want to call each other. Call the Talkster number for your friend and when your friend answers, tell them to hang up and call their local Talkster number for you. You stay on the line while your friend dials back using their Talkster number. You will be connected once the call goes through and you can talk for free as much as you want! Talkster also supports conference calls with up to 5 users.

The Talkster number that the system assigns you and your friend is a regular landline number and the charges for this number will depend on the rates specified by your telephone company. So all international calls get transformed to local calls and you pay at local rates. Talkster does not charge you anything for using this service. But you will have to listen to a mandatory 10 sec advertisement at the beginning of each call, because this is how they cover their costs. Talkster is currently available in only 30 countries and unfortunately India is not yet covered.

Talkster can also be integrated with GoogleTalk or Skype to make free calls.

Also read: Forget Skype. Use Gizmo5

How to remap your keyboard keys

Just because somebody decided that the keyboard should start with the sequence QWERTY does not mean that you should accept it. It's your keyboard and you are free to do anything with it. Just to show your authority bang your keyboard with your fist right now! (not recommended). Jokes apart, if you are seriously not happy with the layout and want to move the keys around, then you can do it. Microsoft has it's own keyboard mapping utility called the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator.


The Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator is useful if you want to use your keyboard to type in another language other than English. You can either start from a scratch or load an existing layout and then modify it and save it as a keyboard layout (.KLC) file. This layout can then be selected from Control Panel>Regional and Language Settings>Languages>Details section. This tool has it's limitations though. It only allows you to remap the character keys. You can't change keys like the CapsLock, Tab, Shift, Ctrl, Alt, Enter, Backspace, F1 to F12, Number pad, Arrows etc.


In order to change these special keys we can use another tool called SharpKeys. SharpKeys allows you to change not only these special function keys but the character keys as well. It does the remapping by tinkering with the registry. Microsoft's tool is much cleaner in this respect because it does not mess with the registry and it's possible to have multiple keyboard layouts on your computer and load anyone of it whenever you need.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Control Windows Mobile devices through your PC with MyMobileR

MyMobileR is an application that allows you to view your Windows Mobile device on your desktop and even allows you to interact with your mobile using the mouse and keyboard. MyMobileR connects your mobile to the PC through ActiveSync or WiFi. When you move the mouse cursor to the edge of the desktop, it appears inside the mobile screen. You can then use the mouse to copy, cut or paste text messages between the mobile device and the desktop. The Mobile Explorer lets you browse the contents of the mobile device and transfer files by drag and drop. You can also take screenshot of your mobile screen and do video recordings.


MyMobiler supports Windows Mobile 2003 and Windows Mobile 5.0 / 6.0

[via Lifehacker]

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Free 6 months license key for System Mechanic 8

Iolo Technologies, the developer of System Mechanic has rolled out a new version 8, and with it they are giving away free licenses of 6 months. Don't know what System Mechanic is? Well, System Mechanic Professional is a suite of several PC-troubleshooting and maintenance products in one integrated package. Fix problems, boost performance, eliminate crashes, defend against spyware, viruses, and hacker threats, and much more. Use one centralised system dashboard to automatically perform all vital PC maintenance.


System Mechanic Professional consists of five modules, which are:

System Mechanic - Keep your PC running like new – fix problems, boost performance, eliminate crashes, defend against spyware threats, and much more. Its one-click power tools automatically perform vital services by diagnosing, reporting, and resolving computer problems and performance issues.

iolo AntiVirus - Shield your PC from viruses, worms, Trojans, and other threats by using an advanced real-time engine that provides continuous maximum protection. Fully integrated email protection scans messages as they are transmitted, and an intuitive interface makes it easy to activate scheduled system inspections for a permanently virus-free PC.

iolo Personal Firewall - Block unwanted communication to and from your PC, keeping your private information safe from hackers and identity thieves. The proprietary IntelliDefense system takes out the guesswork by automatically deciding which programs should connect to the Internet. Now you can work or play without the hassle of being constantly prompted to monitor your PC’s traffic.

Search and Recover Recover deleted files, photos, movies, email, and more, from any drive, disc, camera, music player, or memory card. Proprietary StrongScan and SmartScan technologies allow you to recover information after the worst PC accidents and disasters – even years after the data was lost.

DriveScrubber - Prevent your valuable information from falling into the wrong hands by overwriting and removing all data permanently, beyond anyone’s ability to recover it. In addition to wiping away all data, DriveScrubber can regularly wipe only deleted data, keeping the existing files and operating system intact.

Read more about System Mechanic 8's features

How to obtain the Free License

Visit this page and click Continue. and then click Secure Checkout. Now fill in the details along with your email ID. Once you have placed the order, the activation key will be mailed to you. Now download System Mechanic and during install enter the activation key.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Exploring the hidden features of Windows Accessibility Options

One of the most overlooked areas of Windows is the Accessibility Options. The Accessibility Options exist to assist people with physical disability to use the computer. Hence, many able bodied people ignore it completely. But hidden under it's hood lies some very interesting features that can prove to be useful under various circumstances. If you haven't already explored the Accessibility Options, then read on.

The Accessibility Options is broken down into two sections - one is found under Start Menu>All programs>Accessories>Accessibility and the other part resides in the Control Panel.

The Accessibility Options option under the start menu has two helpful utilities - the Magnifier and the On Screen keyboard. The Narrator isn't to useful unless if you have a poor eyesight and unable to read.

The Magnifier magnifies the screen and displays it in a small strip on the top of the monitor. The magnifier follows the mouse pointer and enlarges the display in and around the mouse pointer. I use the magnifier to keep track of applications running on my computer while I'm away at some distance engaging in another work. For instance, I use magnifier to keep track of the progress of a torrent download from a distance. The enlarged display allows me to read from the screen clearly even when I'm several feet away from the computer.


The On Screen Keyboard is useful if your keyboard is broken. The on screen keyboard also comes handy when you are using a public computer and you want to access your mail or other personal accounts. If you suspect that a computer might contain keyloggers or trojans then you can use the on screen keyboard to type your password. This way keyloggers won't be able to grab your sensitive information. Also read: Tool to defeat keyloggers.


The second part of the Accessibility Options is found in the Control Panel. Open Accessibility Options and under the Keyboard tab you will find three useful features - Sticky keys, Filter keys and Toggle keys.

acessibility-keyboard The Sticky keys makes the keys stick when pressing a multiple keys in a shortcut combination. For example, instead of holding down the CTRL key while you press C, simple press CTRL followed by C. The sticky key option makes the CTRL key stick.

The Filter keys increases the response time of the keyboard. The keys won't respond unless you keep it pressed for a certain duration. This is useful if you want to eliminate any accidental keyboard hits.

The Toggle keys will sound a beep whenever the CAPS LOCK, NUM LOCK and the SCROLL LOCK key is pressed. This is helpful if you are typing a document and you accidentally press the Caps key. The beep will tell you immediately that the caps key is ON.

Under the Sound tab is the Sound Sentry. the Sound sentry will give you a visual warning like a flashing desktop or flashing title bar whenever the system sounds a beep. This is useful if the BIOS speaker is broken.

Under the Display tab>Cursor Options you can customize the blinking rate and size of the cursor. The High Contrast will change the display into the high contrast mode with enlarged text, enlarged icons etc. It's horrible! Don't use it.

The most interesting option is under the Mouse tab. The Mouse keys enable you to control the mouse pointer with the keyboard! Using the  Numpad arrow keys you can move the mouse pointer. Under settings, check the radio button Use mouse keys when numpad is OFF. This will ensure that you can use the numpad number keys even when Mouse Keys is enabled. Turn ON the numpad to use the numpad keys and turn it OFF to control the mouse. Also read essential Windows shortcuts, and you can use your computer without touching the mouse.

Friday, July 18, 2008

How to create a contact form for blogger

Many professional web sites and even personal blogs sometimes have a contact form on their site. These forms are generally made using PHP, ASP, CGI etc and is possible only if your site is hosted on your own web server. Since Blogger is just a blogging platform and does not give users access to the actual server, adding such a form is out of question. However, with third party tools you can add a contact form to your blogger blog just like any other website. This tutorial will show you how.

A contact form can be created using two ways, either through Zoho Creator or through Google Docs.

Using Zoho Creator

1. Go to Zoho Creator and either create a new account or login using your existing Gmail or Yahoo ID

2. Click Create New Application and then in the next page name your form "Contact Form". Click Next.

3. In the next page, you will find various fields on the left hand panel. Drag the Single Line field to the right hand panel. Name the label "Name". Click on Options and check the box "This is required field".


4. Similarly drag the Email field to create email box and the URL field to create website box. Drag the Multi line field to create the Comment box. Drag and add any other elements you wish to add to the form. Choose which fields are necessary and mark them accordingly. The final layout looks something like this.


5. Hover your mouse over More Actions on the right hand panel to reveal a drop down box. Click on Form Properties, to add a Success Message (the message that will be displayed after a user submits the form) and verification code.


6. Again under More actions, click Set Email Notification and fill-in the details to receive email notification whenever users submit the form. This is necessary, otherwise you will have to manually keep checking whether anybody had tried to contact you using the form. Make sure the box "Include user submitted data" is checked.


7. After you have finished creating all fields, click Access this application. On the next page click More Actions>Embed in your website


8. You must now make the form accessible without requiring login. Click on the appropriate link. You should see a message "Through this code snippet, you can access the form without login."


9. Using Customize Items and Customize looks you can further customize the form. Finally copy the code and embed it in a post on blogger. Of course, you can use this form on any website and blogs like Wordpress, Typepad etc. The final contact form looks like this (sorry there is no demo)


Using Google Docs

1. Sign in to Google Docs using your Google account and create a new spreadsheet. Click on the tab Form and then click Create Form.

2. Add questions and name them appropriately and check the box Make this a required question wherever required. For the comment box, choose Question Type as Paragraph text.


4. After you are done, Save the form. Now click on Preview and Send on top. Check the box "Custom confirmation message" and type the message you want to display after the user submits the form.


5. Now click on Embed under the Preview section to get the code. You can edit the width and height of the form by editing the parameters in the code. You can see a sample of such a form here

Whenever any user uses the form, the entries will automatically appear on the spreadsheet. The drawback of using Google doc to create the contact form is that there is no email notification. You have to keep checking the spreadsheet to see if anybody tried to contact you. The Zoho contact form is much better in this respect. Embed it on your blog and forget it. It is also much better looking than the one by Google.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Put the CapsLock key to better use with CAPshift

The CapsLock key on the keyboard is the only single key which gives us more trouble than help. You finish typing a document only to realize that you had accidentally hit the Caps key half a page earlier! %^##%$@ ... With CAPshift you will never have to worry about accidentally turning on the caps key. Instead, by using this little application you will have turned the caps key into something else, something that will become indispensable to you while typing long documents.

CAPshift does two things -

First, it increases the response time of the caps key by half a second. In other words, it makes the caps key unresponsive to any accidental "hit" that is less than 0.5 second long. You need to keep the caps key pressed longer than 0.5 second in order to turn it ON or OFF.


Secondly, it adds a number of text manipulation functions to the caps key like change to UPPERCASE, lowercase, Title case, iNVERT cASE etc. Select the text you want to modify and press the caps key for 1 second. A small a menu will pop up with various modification options. This menu is available from the icon sitting on the system tray too.

CAPshift works everywhere - in MS Word or Notepad or anything where you can type text. CAPshift also slows down the NumLock key and Insert key, to prevent accidentally turning ON the Insert key and accidentally turning OFF the NumLock key.

Thumbnail Expander for Firefox - Get full sized images on mouse hover

Thumbnail Expander is a Firefox extension that displays the large version of images when you hover the mouse over thumbnails. No need to click on thumbnails to display the enlarged version of images. Instead, simply hover your mouse over a thumbnail to see the full image, and move your mouse away to have the full image disappear. Thumbnail Expander also works with video links. Click on the link and have the video show up in the current page, and click the hide link to have it disappear. View the demo on their site.

thumbnail-expander1 thumbnail-expander2

The bad part: Thumbnail Expander doesn't work on all websites. It doesn't work with thumbnails that doesn't directly link to the image. For example, it doesn't work with Flickr. It also doesn't work with blogger blogs. However, it works with Wordpress blogs and sites, like Google Image Search, Wikipedia, Facebook, Imagehack and Photobucket and a few others. It also works with video links like YouTube and Google Video.

Thumbnail Expander can actually save you lots of time if you frequently use Google image search or browse thumbnail gallery sites.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

25 beautiful icon sets for Windows

After getting a good response from readers for 20 (most) beautiful themes for Windows XP, I decided that I should showcase some of the most beautiful icons to go along with these themes. Choosing the icons turned out to be a lot harder than I had thought. There are so many beautiful sets and I know I'm not being fair by selecting only 25 of them. Those icons that didn't make it to this list, maybe some other time.

These icons can be applied using either IconTweaker or WinIcon, two of the best freeware icon changing application for Windows.

Ethereal Icon Suite


Blue Black Addon For Windows


Antique icons


Arzo Icons Vol.2


Autumn Breeze Icons






Assembly Line Program Pack V1


iKons Monitors


influens icons


Layered Drives


Layered Folders


Le Esta Icon Set


Modern Hardware Icons RELOADED


Noia for WindowsXP 2.01


NX01 For Windows


Q's Vista Ready Icons


Radium Icon Set


Rhor's PNG Pack v2 Part 1/Part 2 /Part 3. You will need a PNG to ICO converter to use them.


Simplexity File Icons




SnowIsh For Windows


Soviet Windows version


VannillA Cream Icon Set


Yoritsuki icons for Win


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